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Turkey slams EU for backing Cyprus in drilling dispute

The Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) Turkey is rejecting European Union condemnation of its efforts to drill for gas in waters off the coast of Cyprus and says the bloc cannot be considered an impartial mediator for the divided island.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that Turkey will press ahead with efforts to safeguard Turkish Cypriots' rights until they are included in the island's decision-making mechanisms, including concerning the sharing of the island's resources.

Cyprus says Turkey is encroaching in waters where the east Mediterranean island nation has exclusive economic rights, and the EU has threatened sanctions.

The Turkish Fatih ship started drilling last month 42 miles (67 kilometers) off Cyprus' west coast. A second vessel, Yavuz, has now sailed to an area off the Karpas peninsula on Cyprus' east coast.

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